Dhow Under the Sun
by
Hassan Abdulrazzak

"Do you want to play safe or do you want be happy?"

The city of Dahab and surrounding areas have been hit by a devastating flood. Many people have sought refuge in Dhow Camp. There, Ghalia, a gifted young engineer is trying to build a powerful solar panel with the help of Anis, an enterprising cigarette seller. "Dhow Under the Sun", is a touching story that sheds light on current social and environmental issues of the Arab world and proves leadership and innovation are the key to its future. It is a story full of humour and romance, and about the agonies and rewards of pursuing your dreams.

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KSF
The Team

Middle East Theatre Academy (META)  

Launched in 2011, as a joint initiative with world-renowned screen actor, director and producer Kevin Spacey and The Kevin Spacey Foundation (KSF), The Middle East Theatre Academy (META) is a first-of-its-kind academy designed to introduce, influence, and nurture the youth of the region in the art of theatre, stage performance and related education.  The non-profit Academy is offering a range of creative opportunities for young, emerging artists throughout the Middle East, with a special focus on motivating underprivileged youth, by facilitating workshops, master classes and special events. Led by industry professionals in every facet of theatre and stagecraft, participants will have an opportunity to gain insight in the areas of performance, directing, writing, producing, stage management, lighting, set design, costumes, and makeup application.  META’s inaugural project, Home Grown, will discover and celebrate the artistic talent that saturates the youth of the Middle East, a community consisting of over 200 different nationalities and cultures, bringing opportunity for innovation to an entirely new level. Facilitated by KSF in collaboration with META, emerging artists and students, who may not otherwise be afforded the opportunity due to their social, global, or otherwise economic circumstances, will have a chance to discover important life skills, develop a passion and create a path for achievement.

‘Sending The Elevator Back Down.’  

The Kevin Spacey Foundation (KSF) was established in the United Kingdom in 2010 and in the United States in 2013. KSF’s purpose is to use the esteem and fame associated with its namesake to create initiatives that discover, train and mentor emerging artists in drama, dance, music, and film.  Its services include financial assistance to enable the creation of new work, educational opportunities, and mentoring by respected associates.  KSF Grants fund future practitioners, assisting them in the exploration and realization of new, exciting ideas.  KSF Scholarships are offered to those wishing to attain a higher education in the performing arts in partnership with leading universities in London and New York.  KSF Learning projects give secondary school students the opportunity to develop their creativity through bespoke theatre projects.  

http://kevinspaceyfoundation.com/

  • Kevin Spacey

    Founder, Kevin Spacey Foundation
  • Badr Jafar

    Co-Founder, Middle East Theatre Academy
  • Steve Winter

    Executive Director, The Kevin Spacey Foundation Creator of Home Grown
  • Roxanne Peak-Payne

    Producer
  • Alicia White

    Project Coordinator
  • Tara Jaffar

    Associate Director
  • Oliver Kaderbhai

    Movement Director
  • Hassan Abdulrazzak

    Writer
  • Matt Wilde

    Director

Home Grown

The Middle East is an endless fountain of talent in the arts. Whether it’s film, theatre, or music, the potential of the talented youth across the region is limitless. This is where Home Grown comes in. Created and facilitated by our partners at The Kevin Spacey Foundation, this unique philanthropic programme will offer talented youth across the region the chance to foster this potential.  An intensive two week theatre training programme, run from the Emirate of Sharjah in the UAE, will take place for the first time between the 10th and 27th of January 2015 and will be offered free of charge for 35 carefully selected youths from across the region. The programme will culminate in the production of a new play in Arabic and English with a regional theme which will be publicly premiered in the UAE on the 25th of January. Academy award-winning actor Kevin Spacey will be present at times and will lead expert classes for participants in addition to observing rehearsals. The opening performance will take place on the 25th of January 2015 at the Sharjah Institute for Theatrical Arts, located in the Sharjah Heritage Area.

The Middle Eastern Theatre Academy (META) is a non-profit Academy that was launched in 2011 as a joint initiative with The Kevin Spacey Foundation (KSF). It is a first-of-its-kind Academy in the region, designed to introduce, influence and nurture the youth in the region in the art of theatre, stage performance and related education.

Home Grown will be META’s landmark project launched in partnership with The Kevin Spacey Foundation (KSF) to discover and nurture artistic talent in film and theatre consisting of several unique segments.

Home Grown is to be established as an important charitable and educational project which will provide unprecedented opportunities for youth across the Middle Eastern region to learn and develop skills in performance, including physicality, voice and acting techniques. Academy award-winning actor Kevin Spacey will be present at times throughout the project and will lead expert classes for participants in addition to observing rehearsals. The opening performance will take place in Sharjah in the UAE on the 25th of January 2015 at the Sharjah Institute for Theatrical Arts in Sharjah.


Home Grown offers an exciting opportunity to have a showcase performance in the theatre to participants with a London-based professional team delivering the content of the workshops. This bespoke programme will encourage self-belief and expand horizons, developing the capacity of youth, providing them with everyday life skills to help their development and personal growth. A new play in Arabic and English will be commissioned to be written for the selected performers.  

Participants will have an opportunity to gain insight in the areas of performance, directing, writing, producing, stage management, lighting, costume and set design. This is in addition to other new skills useful for work like public speaking, teamwork, and building confidence. The programme will also offer participants the chance to meet like-minded young people from around the MENA region and a chance to stay in the Emirate of Sharjah, the Cultural Capital of the Arab Region for 2014.



  • Physicality: Participants will learn how to use their body on stage. They will learn to convey emotions and feeling through their body language. 
  • Movement: The group will learn how to work together to create dynamic sequences of movement. Using each other to change the mood of a scene or create a particular location out of nothing but each other. 
  • Voice: Actors must be heard and understood for a performance to be at its most effective. We will work on vocal technique to ensure each word spoken is clearly articulated and connects with an audience 
  • Character: We will explore how to create a character from the clues given in the script. We will explore the backstory of each character and look at different approaches to presenting a character on stage. 
  • Staging: Participants will learn the basics of staging a performance and how to use the space on stage to best effect. They will learn about blocking, sightlines and masking. 
  • Stage Craft: An introduction to the technical aspects of theatre, such as lighting, sound, design, stage management, ensuring they are fully aware of everything that goes into making a show before starting rehearsals. 

We will be accepting applications from residents* of the following countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen. 

*Applicants must have been residents of their respective countries for at least the last five years. 
Applicants must have valid passport for travel. 
Applicants must be able to be present in the UAE without interruption from 10th to 27th Jan 2015. 
Applicants must be aware that all applications will be subject to visa restrictions that are not in our control.

  • Abduljabbar Alsuhili
    Age: 25
    Country: Yemen
    Character: Bassam

  • Ahmad Al-Tamimi
    Age: 25
    Country: KSA
    Character: Abu Duma

  • Alaa Masri Zadh
    Age: 24
    Country: Syria
    Character: Ghalia

  • Alhasan Yousef
    Age: 23
    Country: Syria
    Character: Badha

  • Amina Adel Mohamed
    Age: 19
    Country: Egypt
    Character: Um Sawsan

  • Beyan Avci
    Age: 23
    Country: Iraq
    Character: Azalea

  • Bilal Berakdar
    Age: 25
    Country: Syria
    Character: Yaser

  • Cyril Kokozaki
    Age: 25
    Country: Lebanon
    Character: Anis

  • Dalia Shawky
    Age: 21
    Country: Egypt
    Character: Alia

  • Duna Fakhouri
    Age: 23
    Country: Jordan
    Character: Duna

  • Ebrahim Al Hajaj
    Age: 21
    Country: KSA
    Character: Abdullah

  • Hala Albassar
    Age: 25
    Country: Syria
    Character: Nada

  • Hamzeh Shaker
    Age: 19
    Country: Jordan
    Character: Bandar

  • Haydi Koussa
    Age: 25
    Country: Egypt
    Character: Laila

  • Hossam Soliman
    Age: 22
    Country: Egypt
    Character: Hazim

  • Laila Laila
    Age: 20
    Country: Syria
    Character: Yala

  • Lama Al-Amine
    Age: 25
    Country: Lebanon
    Character: Soha

  • Lea Hariri
    Age: 22
    Country: Iraq
    Character: Tina

  • May Fady Adra
    Age: 22
    Country: Lebanon
    Character: Fairuz

  • Meera Al Midfa
    Age: 24
    Country: UAE
    Character: Dr. Cecilia

  • Mohamad Alrefai
    Age: 25
    Country: Syria
    Character: Abu Dahia

  • Mohamed Habib
    Age: 21
    Country: Egypt
    Character: Ghareeb

  • Mona Ragab
    Age: 23
    Country: Egypt
    Character: Manal

  • Muna El-Basha
    Age: 18
    Country: Palestine
    Character: Lana

  • Nada Mahfoud
    Age: 24
    Country: Syria
    Character: Zeina

  • Nairuz Al Ajlouni
    Age: 21
    Country: Jordan
    Character: Rami

  • Nour Eddine Kahil
    Age: 22
    Country: Algeria
    Character: Sam

  • Nour Hossini
    Age: 22
    Country: Syria
    Character: Mounis

  • Rabee' Mahmood
    Age: 21
    Country: Palestine
    Character: Taisar

  • Rashed Alnuaimi
    Age: 22
    Country: UAE
    Character: Mohamed

  • Rawan Naser Musleh
    Age: 23
    Country: Palestine
    Character: Sara

  • Raya Khatib
    Age: 23
    Country: Jordan
    Character: Karma

  • Walid Saliba
    Age: 21
    Country: Lebanon
    Character: Farhan

  • Zyne El Abidine Mastouri
    Age: 23
    Country: Tunisia
    Character: Abu Assad

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Audition Tips

Audition Tips:


1. What You Need. A quiet room; a camera, webcam or phone to video yourself on; something to rest it on or a friend to film; and the audition speech.

2. Technical details. Before you begin your performance, do a test run to check the lighting and sound. Say a few lines, record, and then review the footage. It’s important you’re well-lit and that we can hear you. Check for any distractions in the background too, a solid colour background is the best option if you can find one.

3. Framing. You should be in the centre of the screen with your chest and head both fully visible. You can be sitting or standing. Ideally, the camera should remain in one position throughout the scene.

4. Think about the character’s situation. It’s important you’ve made decisions about the backstory of your character before you start recording. Here are a few questions to start thinking about, but there are plenty more you can answer too: Where is the character? What happened to them just before this scene? Who are they talking to? What emotions are they feeling? How old are they? What time of day is it?

5. Don’t try to guess what we want. We want to see what you think is interesting about this character, not you trying guessing what we might like. The most important thing you can do is to make clear choices about your character’s backstory and stick with them. They should be choices you feel are honest, and that you feel comfortable and confident portraying.

6. You can use the script. You may want to memorise the lines, but you don’t have to. We want to see your performance, so as long as the script doesn’t get in the way then you may find it easier to have it nearby. Make sure we don’t hear the paper rustling, though!

7. Relax and take your time. The best thing about a video audition is that you can record it as many times as you like until you feel happy with it. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to do a few takes. You will perform at your best if you feel relaxed and focused.


Audition Speech

An extract from the play Withdrawal 

by Mohammed Al Attar, English translation by Clem Naylor


Today when I went into town early - it was the first time I’d done that in ages – it felt so hot and crowded with traffic…

But the problem today wasn’t really the traffic, the problem was that I was scared of people all the time. I mean, not scared of one particular person, I just felt like I wanted to run away from them all the time. When I decided to go to a café in the old town I couldn’t manage to sit there for more than a quarter of an hour before I felt like I wanted to run away again. It was so crowded there too…

When I left the al-Hamidiyeh souk I couldn’t find any sort of transport and there was a moment when I felt like I was being strangled… Seriously, people were coming and going, everyone was in a rush and I was sure no one know why. I started feeling dizzy, it looked like the faces of the people around me were repeating themselves, it looked like everyone in the crowd had the same face, and they were all hurrying along staring at the ground.

There was one very old lady who noticed me, she wanted to know what was wrong or something, she asked me if everything was all right. By that point I was sitting on the edge of the pavement, just trying to breathe. Then, even though I couldn’t see very clearly, I walked off. I carried on walking for more than an hour in the sun until I got here. Maybe I shouldn’t go outside again in the daytime. By the end of the night people have usually settled down at home and I can walk around more easily.


Kevin Spacey
Founder, Kevin Spacey Foundation
Kevin Spacey

Kevin Spacey was born in South Orange, New Jersey and spent most of his youth in Southern California. As a teenager Kevin attended a drama workshop led by his idol, Jack Lemmon. On seeing Kevin perform, Jack put his hand on his shoulder and said: ‘That was a touch of terrific, kid. This guy is an actor. You need to go to New York and study to become an actor’ which is exactly what Kevin did. He attended The Juilliard School in 1979. 

Kevin made his first Broadway stage appearance as Oswald in Ibsen’s Ghosts in 1981. His break through theatre performance was in Eugene O’Neill’s Long Days Journey Into Night opposite his now mentor, Jack Lemmon. Whilst always harbouring a love for the stage, Kevin went on to work in television and subsequently movies. He won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Verbal Kint in The Usual Suspects and an Oscar for Best Actor as Lester Burnham in American Beauty. On stage, his performance in O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh was recognized with the Lawrence Oliver Award for Best Actor and a Tony nomination. In 1997 Kevin founded TriggerStreet Productions, an entertainment company that has produced The Social Network and the Netflix original series House of Cards. 

In 2003 Kevin became the Artistic Director of the Old Vic Theatre and moved to London. He focussed on the importance of encouraging young people to build confidence through drama and developing emerging talent with the award-winning Old Vic New Voices programme. Kevin made his UK Shakespearean debut in Richard II at the Old Vic in 2006 and in 2008 he was appointed as Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Oxford University. In 2010 Kevin was named honorary Commander of the British Empire as recognition for his exceptional work in theatre. 

Kevin set up the Kevin Spacey Foundation in the UK in 2010 and in the US in 2013, with the aim of continuing and expanding his work of ‘sending the elevator back down’ by supporting new artistic talent. Over the course of his career, Kevin has led many acting workshops for young people - sharing his knowledge and experience in the way Jack Lemmon did for him as his mentor. He has delivered classes for emerging artists all over the world through the inaugural Kevin Spacey Foundation project: Richard’s Rampage.

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Badr Jafar
Co-Founder, Middle East Theatre Academy
Badr Jafar


Co-Founder, Middle East Theatre Academy

Badr Jafar is an Emirati impact entrepreneur who strives towards using entrepreneurial principles to create and manage ventures which achieve positive social impact and create social capital.  As an advocate of cultural diplomacy, Badr has helped launch a number of initiatives in music, theatre and film to promote cross-cultural dialogue between the Arab Region and other regions of the World.

Badr founded the Middle East Theatre Academy in partnership with Kevin Spacey to encourage the Arab Region’s talents within film, television and theatre, and provide an international creative platform for the youth of the Region.

Badr is an appointed member of the Guggenheim Middle Eastern Circle and the Artistic Director’s Circle of The Old Vic Theatre Trust. In 2014, Badr was awarded the Gold Medal in the Arts by the Kennedy Centre International Committee on the Arts for his work to bridge cultures through music and theatre.


You can follow Badr Jafar on twitter @BadrJafar and online at badrjafar.com.


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Steve Winter
Executive Director, The Kevin Spacey Foundation Creator of Home Grown
Steve Winter

As Executive Director, Steve leads artistic and business planning of The Kevin Spacey Foundation which aims to create initiatives that discover, train and mentor emerging artists. He oversees both day-to-day and long term strategy to ensure the Foundation’s aim to ‘send the elevator back down’. 

Steve was previously the Programme Director of Old Vic New Voices for ten years, the multi award-winning department of The Old Vic Theatre which focuses on supporting new talent, creative learning and community theatre. During his time there he commissioned over sixty plays in the UK and US; produced five major productions, created 30 education projects and discovered numerous actors, directors, writers and producers. Before The Old Vic he created award-winning theatre projects for his own theatre company, Tricycle Theatre and CragRats. 

He has also worked for the BBC, ITV, The UCL Bloomsbury, Immediate Theatre, York Theatre Royal, Sky Arts, West Yorkshire Playhouse and IdeasTap as a facilitator, actor, director, dramaturge, casting director and producer. He is a Master at the Drama Centre London and a judge for The Royal Television Society. 

 ‘We are excited to be launching something so unique and creative with such a pioneering individual such as Badr. The Kevin Spacey Foundation has long believed in the power of the arts to transform lives. Home Grown will be no exception.’

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Roxanne Peak-Payne
Producer
Roxanne Peak-Payne

Roxanne is an experienced theatre producer with a focus on new and participatory work. In roles at the Theatre Royal Plymouth and The Old Vic she worked with local communities to create socially resonant, high quality and award winning theatre productions on a large scale – involving up to 200 participants. 

She also delivered several intensive creative development projects to support emerging theatre makers further their skills and careers. Roxanne has worked on several high profile independent projects, most recently on Letter to an Unknown Soldier which saw over 21,000 people contribute creatively to a new war memorial, including Prime Minister David Cameron and actor Stephen Fry. Previous roles have included work with Tobacco Factory Theatre; Bristol Old Vic for Mayfest; Battersea Arts Centre and Olivier Award winning company OperaUpClose. Roxanne also works as a theatre facilitator, engaging people of all ages and experiences to create performance and develop interpersonal skills.

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Alicia White
Project Coordinator
Alicia White

Born and raised in England to Jamaican parents, Alicia completed her secondary education in Dubai prior to returning to the UK for her tertiary studies. She returned to Dubai to pick up a career in Events Management.

Alicia has worked on a number of diverse, high level projects over the last 7 years coordinating and delivering a Seniors professional tennis championship, managing a very successful International cricket series, three Invitational golf tournaments along with several Gala dinners.

In the area of the arts, she has managed Live comedy shows, Dance extravaganzas and Drama workshops. She is particularly pleased to have curated a notable and significant Islamic Art Collection.  

An experienced project manager, Alicia considers herself a citizen of the world with a natural love of people, music and the arts. She has formerly worked for PwC and Delwood Consultancy Services, where she was a curator and event manager

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Tara Jaffar
Associate Director
Tara Jaffar

Tara’s work involves a combination of the expressive and therapeutic arts, which aim to engender and facilitate dialogue and healing in various communities. She worked as a freelancer for various organisations and charities, before seting-up Meryna  a non-profit organisation, earlier this year, focusing on the concept of social resilience, to work with children and adults in the UK, Middle East and Europe. Her background includes training in classical theatre (MA from Drama Centre), various forms of movement (Grotowski, LeCoq and Corporeal Mime), as well as community-inspired theatre forms such as Playback and Forum theatre. She has just completed a three-month therapeutic pilot project, IamResilience Lebanon  based in a Syrian refugee camp in South Lebanon, where she worked directly with camp residents to explore and build on the notion of resilience in these survivors.


Meryna website: http://www.meryna.org

IamResilience Leb: http://www.meryna.org/projects/iamresilience-lebanon-2014/

LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/tara-jaffar/60/854/739

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Oliver Kaderbhai
Movement Director
Oliver Kaderbhai

Oliver is an actor and director who trained with award winning theatre company, Frantic Assembly for whom he has worked as a performer and Creative Learning Practitioner. He is highly skilled in movement, text, devising and puppetry and is an experienced workshop leader in movement and devising. He is Artistic Director of :DELIRIUM: who use everyday life as inspiration to create characters who tell fast, highly physical, energetic, real and honest stories. Through :DELIRIUM: he continues to work with a variety of artists of all disciplines to develop innovative new work. He was involved with the development and delivery of Home Grown in London and Baltimore earlier this year.

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Hassan Abdulrazzak
Writer
Hassan Abdulrazzak

Hassan is an award–winning playwright of Iraqi origin, born in Prague and living in London. His first play, Baghdad Wedding, premiered at Soho Theatre, London. Other productions were at the Belvoir Theatre, Sydney and by Akvarious productions in India. It was also broadcast on BBC Radio 3. His second play, The Prophet was staged at the Gate theatre, London and had a reading by Noor theatre in NYC. 

He has written two full-length screenplays, numerous short plays and translated plays for the Royal Court Theatre. His short play, Lost Kingdom was selected for San Francisco’s ReOrient 2015 festival. Hassan received the George Devine, Meyer-Whitworth and Pearson theatre awards as well as the Arab British Centre Award for Culture. He is currently working on a number of theatre, TV and film projects.

Website: http://abdulrazzak.weebly.com

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Matt Wilde
Director
Matt Wilde

Matt trained with Max Stafford-Clark at Out of Joint as Assistant Director and later became an Associate Director. Since then he has worked as Associate Director at the National Theatre (London) and the National Theatre Studio, developing projects with a number of emerging British playwrights and international writers from USA, Hungary and Iran. He has directed productions for Liverpool Everyman, Actors Touring Company, Almeida, The Old Vic and the Royal Court. He has significant experience in outreach and educational programmes including directing the large scale Old Vic New Voices community productions. 

He has collaborated with the British Council in Brazil on New Writing and Theatre for Young People and has worked extensively with the NT Education directing newly commissioned work for young audiences and with young performers as well as being a principal facilitator on their innovative NT Connections programme. He also directs and teaches at leading institutions including RADA, Rose Bruford and Goldsmith’s College

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